"Sudan is not happy with the [UN] Security Council resolution, but we will comply with it to the best of our ability," Uthman al-Said, Sudan's ambassador to the African Union (AU), told a news conference in Ethiopia.

"Because should we fail to do so, we know our enemies would not hesitate to take other measures against our country," he added, in remarks that backed down from Sudan's initial rejection of the vote.

"Sudan accepts the decision of the [UN] Security Council on Darfur, because it is a member of the United Nations and has no other options.

"Sudan is not going to be another Israel, which has no respect to the decision of the world body," al-Said added.

Winning votes

However, he lashed out at the US, which drafted the resolution, giving Khartoum 30 days to disarm and prosecute marauding militias or face sanctions.

"Sudan completely rejects the motive of the US government in sponsoring the resolution because it has nothing to do with the welfare of the people of Darfur or of Africa," he said.

"Sudan accepts the decision of the Security Council... Sudan is not going to be another Israel, which has no respect to the decision of the world body"

Uthman al-Said, Sudan's ambassador to AU

He said US interest in arid, impoverished Darfur had more to do with winning the black vote in November's US presidential election.

Instead, he called on the 53-member AU to mediate a solution to the Darfur problem. "This is an African problem and it should be solved by Africans," he said.

French deployment

French soldiers stationed in Chad began efforts on Saturday to take aid to the people from Darfur by flying relief material to Abeche near the border, their commanders said.

French President Jacques Chirac ordered the mobilisation on
Friday.

"Without waiting for the response of the international community the defence ministry" has taken several steps, including the deployment of an "observation force", Chirac's office said in a statement in Paris on Friday.

About 200 French soldiers will be deployed on Sunday to Chad's eastern border with Sudan to secure the frontier with Darfur.

Chirac ordered the deployment
of 200 French soldiers

Asked what French troops had been ordered to do if Janjaweed militia forces crossed the border, the French ambassador to Chad, Jean Pierre Bercot, said "our capacity to react will be jointly decided with our Chadian partners".

"With our presence on the ground, we want to show that we will be there to attest to any incursions by the Janjaweed before the eyes of all the world," the ambassador said.

Chadian government spokesman Hasan Guad Allah Muhammad on Saturday welcomed the move, which he said was a sign of "the excellent relations between Chad and France".